The Complete Carl Barks Disney Library Vol. 25: Balloonatics Review!

The Complete Carl Barks Disney Library

In December of 2011 Fantagraphics released Lost in the Andes the 7th volume in The Complete Carl Barks’ Library. Carl Barks is fondly remembered as “The Good Duck Artist.” He is the creator of Duckburg, Scrooge McDuck, Gladstone Gander, the Beagle Boys, Flintheart Glomgold, and many other elements of the Disney Duck comics. In 1987 Barks was inducted into the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame. To the uninitiated it may seem strange to begin a 30 volume collection that will span 30 years of work with the 7th volume, but Fantagraphics decided to begin the collection at the height of Barks’ popularity. Since that release Fantagraphics has released two volumes each year. By the time the collection is complete there should be about 30 volumes.

Balloonatics

The Complete Carl Barks Disney Library Volume 25: Balloonatics will be released by Fantagraphics on November 16th, 2021. It is the second release from the collection this year. You can find a copy of this collection at your favorite book store or order a physical copy from Amazon (There will be an Amazon Affiliate link at the bottom of this review to make purchasing your copy easier). If you prefer a digital copy you can order that through Kindle or Comixology for easy reading on your favorite tablet. With this month’s release we can enjoy the stories from the 1960s to the early 1970s.

The title of this volume and the cover are from Balloonatics, The volume is 208 pages including 18 stories from 1960, 1961, 1970, and 1971.

This volume includes a collection of stories from Grandma Duck’s Farm Friends. Barks was the artist on these stories while the scripts were from Vic Lockman.

The reason for the gap from 1961 to 1970 is because Carl Barks retired in 1966 after creating more than 500 Disney Duck stories. He returned in 1970 to “script” Huey, Dewey, and Louie Junior Woodchucks. His scripts were actually roughed out pages for the book with full dialogue . Western/Gold Key then had their other artists finish them.

The artists working on the Junior Woodchuck stories were not tasked with imitating Barks and the art in those issues do not reflect his techniques. In the 1990s a Dutch cartoonist named Daan Jippes penciled the scripts giving them a more “Barksian” look. These are the versions of those stories Fantagraphics has included in this volume. Which is pretty cool since it is part of the Carl Barks Library.

The Carl Barks Library Volume 26: The Golden Nugget Boat will be the next volume available in the series, and it is currently scheduled for release on May 17th, 2022. Feel free to preorder using our Amazon Affiliate Link: The Complete Carl Barks Disney Library Vol. 26: The Golden Nugget Boat.

Included Stories

There are 18 Disney Duck stories included in Balloonatics:

  • Balloonatics
  • Froggy Farmer
  • The Dog-Sitter
  • Mystery of the Loch
  • The Village Blacksmith
  • The Fraidy Falcon
  • Rocks to Riches
  • Turkey Trouble
  • Missile Fizzle
  • The Whole Herd of Help
  • The Day The Farm Stood Still
  • The Training Farm Fuss
  • The Reversed Rescue
  • Peril of the Black Forest
  • Whale of a Good Deed
  • Let Sleeping Bones Lie
  • Bad Day for Troop “A”
  • Life Savers

In Balloonatics Donald works hard to clean the yard when his nephews make a mess of it. His retaliation leads to high flying hijinks.

Froggy Farmer may feel like a familiar Barks’ Duck story, but a new spin on the storyline may put Donald in hot water… or a frying pan.

Donald must dog-sit for the nephews when they double book. The smart pooch knows how to get Donald into trouble, and laughs for the readers.

In Mystery of the Loch, Donald plans to make it rich by capturing a picture of The Loch Ness Monster. The nephews decide to invest in his venture. Will their expedition payoff? Or will they end up all wet?

Sometimes a story is inspired by another well-known story. Such is the case for The Village Blacksmith. Barks commonly told stories where Donald is looking for work, and in this story he tries blacksmithing.

The Fraidy Falcon features the nephews saving a Falcon and convincing Donald to allow them to keep him. Thankfully, Uncle Donald could use him in as part of his fancy act when he jumps from a hot air balloon….

The Ducks go treasure hunting after Donald and a Scrooge try out Donald’s new rock tumbler and polisher in Rocks to Riches.

Turkey Tumbler pits Donald against Gladstone for a dinner with Daisy.

Missle Fizzle might remind you of the Cold War when there was a spy or saboteur behind ever corner.

When Scrooge McDuck needs to unload a goodwill gift he takes it to Grandma Duck’s farm. The gift creates quite the commotion in The Whole Herd of Help.

We get a glimpse into what the animals on Grandma Duck’s farm are saying in The Day the Farm Stood Still.

Gladstone Gander visits Grandma Duck’s farm to train for his latest venture in The Training Farm Fuss.

When Donald tries to save the day it is Grandma Duck who shows the Beagle Boys who is the boss in The Reversed Rescue.

Uncle Scrooge is going to build his next fortune on the ground of the Junior Woodchuck’s Black Forest. In Peril of the Black Forest the Woodchuck’s are left to find a way to save their training grounds.

Uncle Scrooge is once again the villain in Whale of a Good Deed. The Woodchucks find a beached whale to save, but could the cost of whale oil be the reason they fail?

Let Sleeping Bones Lie features the Woodchucks as they unearth a monumental prehistoric find, but Uncle Scrooge only sees an opportunity for increased wealth.

The nephews find themselves on the losing side when Woodchucks face off against each other in Bad Day For Troop “A”.

My Final Thoughts

One of the greatest opportunities that has come from DuckTalks has been having the opportunity to read these comics for the first time. My appreciation for Carl Barks’ works continues to increase as I learn more about the history of these great characters. It is a rich and entertaining history that I hope fans are able to enjoy for years to come. That is why I enjoy this installment of the Carl Barks Library.

As always I enjoy Barks’ story format, and I am becoming more familiar with his works. I love the art in these stories. Over the past few years I have come to realize that a lot of effort has gone into these volumes as it is much more than just a reprinting of these works from the past. We see the names of people we have come to think of as friends listed on the coloring and lettering of this volume (Hey David and Erik!). We know that the people working behind the scenes to produce these wonderful releases are fans just like those of you who preordered it months ago. This growing sense of community really makes diving deeper into these stories all the more exciting.

Froggy Farmer feels like a classic Disney cartoon. I loved reading about the Loch Ness Monster growing up, so Mystery of the Loch was an instant favorite of mine. I enjoyed the Grandma Duck stories, and the Woodchuck tales. The whole volume was enjoyable and interesting to experience these stories from late in Barks’ career.

Of course the end of the volume includes insightful commentary on the stories and some behind the scenes information that we’ve come to expect from these volumes.

I would like to thank Fantagraphics for providing our copy of Balloonatics for review. These releases are always amazing additions to my Disney Duck knowledge, and I enjoy every minute with these classic stories.

You can purchase your copy of The Complete Carl Barks Disney Library Volume 25: Balloonatics by following this link to Amazon: The Complete Carl Barks Disney Library Volume 25: Balloonatics.

*By purchasing from Amazon.com through this link above, you are supporting DuckTalks at no additional cost to yourself!

2 comments

  1. I got my copies of both “Balloonatics” and “Dragonlords” (the former will be a birthday present for me next month). Just want to make sure if anyone knows if the dialogue is unaltered just like the previous volume.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I wish I could answer you Nic, but this is the first time I’ve read these stories. I haven’t seen anything online about anything being changed, but if we see anything I will try to let you know.

      Like

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